Words and Photos: Mike Smart
Each March, the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series kicks off with True Grit Epic - a challenging course located in St. George, Utah, 2 hours north of Las Vegas and 4 hours south of Salt Lake City.
Each course lap combines the best trails in St. George, including Barrel, Zen, Bearclaw Poppi, Stucki, and Barrel Roll. Those brave enough to do the 100-mile option get to do two laps of each, while the 50-mile option provides riders with one EPIC lap of riding.
For the course I chose the Niner RKT9 RDO 4-star build – with added carbon race wheels, power meter crankset, and dropper seat post. The True Grit course is rocky, technical, and challenges any equipment. Tires with sidewall protection, extra sealant, and a little more air volume, are highly recommended for this course.
Many other outdoor adventures await those staying in St. George. For example, Zion National Park is less than an hour away and features a landscape of sandstone spires, canyons, hanging gardens, and rivers. The park is a must-see for those traveling to the race from out of state. Plus, March provides a great time of year to visit the park and avoids the summer vacation crowds.
Riding in the desert has a majestic feel every mountain biker should experience. The sunsets are beautiful and the skyline is constantly changing. St. George provides bucket list mountain biking with the gorgeous backdrop of snow-capped mountains.